Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies
1Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
“The presence of God is the joy of his people, but any suspicion of his absence is distracting beyond measure. . . . It is not the trouble, but the hiding of our Father’s face, which cuts us to the quick.”
–Charles Haddon Spurgeon
2In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor— let them be caught in the schemes they have devised.
3For the wicked boast of the desires of their heart, those greedy for gain curse and renounce the Lord.
4In the pride of their countenance the wicked say, “God will not seek it out”; all their thoughts are, “There is no God.”
Psalm 53:1 (English Standard Version)
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
5Their ways prosper at all times; your judgments are on high, out of their sight; as for their foes, they scoff at them.
6They think in their heart, “We shall not be moved; throughout all generations we shall not meet adversity.”
7Their mouths are filled with cursing and deceit and oppression; under their tongues are mischief and iniquity.
How often the wicked speech of men –- which is often today regarded as no sin at all -– is regarded as sin in the Psalms. “Cursing, lying, threatening, and troubling and evil speech are all destructive. They flow from one who does not believe that God will hold him or her accountable.”
–James Montgomery Boice
8They sit in ambush in the villages; in hiding places they murder the innocent. Their eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;
9they lurk in secret like a lion in its covert; they lurk that they may seize the poor; they seize the poor and drag them off in their net.
10They stoop, they crouch, and the helpless fall by their might.
11They think in their heart, “God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”
12Rise up, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand; do not forget the oppressed.
13Why do the wicked renounce God, and say in their hearts, “You will not call us to account”?
“The long-suffering of God, instead of leading such a one to repentance, only hardens him in his iniquity. Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, he thinks it will not be executed at all.”
14But you do see! Indeed you note trouble and grief, that you may take it into your hands; the helpless commit themselves to you; you have been the helper of the orphan.
15Break the arm of the wicked and evildoers; seek out their wickedness until you find none.
16The Lord is king forever and ever; the nations shall perish from his land.
17O Lord, you will hear the desire of the meek; you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear
18to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed, so that those from earth may strike terror no more.
In this psalm, the initial despair in times of trouble ends with calm confidence in God’s justice and victory. The promises are sure:
- You shall not always be forgotten at the mercy-seat; so keep praying.
- You shall not always be forgotten in the Word; so keep reading.
- You shall not always be forgotten from the pulpit; so keep hearing.
- You shall not always be forgotten at the Lord’s Table; so keep receiving.
- You shall not always be forgotten in your service; so keep serving.
Verse 16 says, “The Lord is king forever and ever.” HERE is “Jesus Shall Reign” written by Isaac Watts in 1719.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.